The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce announced this month that small business members will now be able to provide medical, dental, vision and life insurance benefits to their employees following enrollment in one of the available Association Health Plans offered by the organizations.
The move comes following a sweeping new rule made to carry out an executive order signed by President Donald Trump last year that brought back Association Health Plans (AHP) under a reinterpretation of the Affordable Care Act, which effectively outlawed the programs in 2014.
“Many associations who had successful programs in the past were already prepared to resurrect their programs to achieve the cost savings and member satisfaction that they had achieved in the past,” says Valerie Clark, President of Clark & Associates of Nevada, Inc. “Since the plans are meant to look and feel like large group plans, small groups should see a significant reduction in cost, as well as enhanced plan and benefit design.”
According to Clark, the current small group marketplace generally offers plans that are far more expensive and provide less benefits to each small group that it insures, which makes it extremely difficult for small employers and sole proprietors to compete with large companies in attracting and retaining talent.
“This is a game-changer for our members with less than 50 employees and creates a more level playing field to compete with larger organizations for recruitment and retention of qualified workers,” said Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.
According to Silver, a partnership with Prominence Health Plan will increase the accessibility of skilled and highly-qualified healthcare providers to the small business members of The Chamber of Commerce.
And while the Reno + Sparks Chamber has partnered with Prominence Health Plan; The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce has contracted with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to provide benefits to members in Southern Nevada.
“We’ve listened to our members and brokers about what they need most,” said Las Vegas Metro Chamber President and CEO Mary Beth Sewald. “We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Anthem that combines robust health coverage with affordability and extremely competitive pricing.”
But according to a recent report in the New York Times, The new health plans would be exempt from many consumer-protection mandates in the Affordable Care Act, which means they may not have to provide certain benefits like mental health care, emergency services, maternity and newborn care, and prescription drugs.
However, Association Health Plans will not be able to deny coverage or charge higher rates to individual employees with pre-existing medical conditions according to officials at the Department of Labor.
If you’re a Nevada based business owner looking for a health insurance solution, you can find out more about how to join the Association Health Plans available through your Chamber of Commerce by clicking on one of the following links: